The Lifesaving Society is recognized throughout Canada as the standard setting certifying body for public aquatic safety for lifeguard and lifesaving training. We are also recognized internationally as one of the leading world authorities on lifeguard training by the Royal Life Saving Society Commonwealth and the International Life Saving Federation.

National Lifeguard has been Canada's standard for professional lifeguarding since 1964.

In this role we have extensive partnerships to review, evaluate and advise the industry including:

  • Lifesaving Society Affiliates
  • Government Agencies
  • National Affiliates and Delivery Partners
  • Owners & Operators

The Lifesaving Society’s National Lifeguard certification builds on the fundamental skills, knowledge, fitness, judgment and values taught in the prerequisite Lifesaving Society lifesaving certifications.

Recognized as the standard for lifeguards in Canada, National Lifeguard training develops a sound understanding of lifeguarding principles, good judgment, and a mature and responsible attitude toward the role of the lifeguard.

The primary role of the National Lifeguard is the prevention of emergency situations and the timely and effective resolution of emergencies. The National Lifeguard certification prepares lifeguards to fulfill this role as professional facilitators of safe, enjoyable aquatics.

The National Lifeguard program develops the basic lifeguarding skills, principles, and decision-making process to help lifeguards evaluate and adapt to different aquatic facilities and emergencies. The National Lifeguard program cannot in theory or practice prepare candidates for every situation that might occur. Employers must provide in-service training to familiarize their staff with the unique aspects of their aquatic facility.

The National Lifeguard certification reflects the Lifesaving Society’s standards, publications, and research into drowning and injury prevention, water rescue, and aquatic safety systems.

The National Lifeguard certification is backed by a full range of safety services provided by the Society that support the design and operation of safe aquatic facilities that lifeguards work in. National Lifeguard certification is available in four options - Pool, Waterpark, Waterfront, and Surf.

National Lifeguard Certifications



National Lifeguard - Pool

Trains lifeguards in safety supervision and rescue in a pool environment

Bronze Cross, current AB workplace approved Intermediate First Aid (Aquatic Emergency Care is recommended), and minimum 15 years of age

National Lifeguard - Waterpark

Trains lifeguards in safety supervision and rescue in a waterpark environment

National Lifeguard Pool

National Lifeguard - Waterfront

Trains lifeguards in safety supervision and rescue in a waterfront environment

Bronze Cross, current AB workplace approved Intermediate First Aid (Aquatic Emergency Care is recommended), and minimum 15 years of age

National Lifeguard - Surf

Trains lifeguards in safety supervision and rescue in a surf beach environment

National Lifeguard Waterfront

National Lifeguard training is consistent across Canada. National Lifeguard awards can be transferred between provinces and territories. Contact your Lifesaving Society branch to find out how to become a lifeguard.

If you have a lifesaving or lifeguarding certifications from outside Canada, click here to see our Training Program prerequisites for Certification in Alberta and Northwest Territories. This chart is designed to provide a guide to achieve required certifications to meet the standard as a Lifeguard or Instructor in Alberta and Northwest Territories.

For more information on Lifeguarding, refer to the Policies & Procedures

National Lifeguard Pool Re-certification Guide

The Lifesaving Society is pleased to offer a National Lifeguard Pool Re-certification Guide.  The guide is designed as a resource for candidates to prepare and familiarize with the items covered in a National Lifeguard re-certification, as well as to assist in planning for training supports for success. This guide should be used in combination with the Alert and Canadian Lifesaving manuals.

National Lifeguard is a vocational training award.  Certified National Lifeguards should be familiar with the code of conduct in the Policies and Procedures.

Certification is based on the ability to meet the purpose statements and ALL performance criteria (Must Sees).

With practice and review, the National Lifeguard re-certification is achievable by everyone.  Candidates are encouraged to practice skills and review knowledge to prepare for the re-certification course.

Ongoing training and maintaining an appropriate level of fitness is important to being able to lifeguard effectively.

The Society would like to thank National Lifeguard instructor trainers Anne-Marie Huizing, Rob Leach and Chris Biensch for their contributions towards this guide. 

To download the guide, click HERE